Alaska Justice Forum 24(3), Fall 2007

The Fall 2007 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum features articles on the collateral consequences of criminal conviction in Alaska, results of an Alaska Judicial Council evaluation of the Alaska Court System's three felony-level therapeutic courts, disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system in Fairbanks North Star Borough, and results of a community survey in Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

"The Hidden Impact of a Criminal Conviction: A Brief Overview of Collateral Consequences in Alaska" 

by Deborah Periman

Collateral consequences — a term used here to refer generally to the effect of any measure that might increase the negative consequences of a criminal conviction — fall roughly into three categories: impaired access to, or enjoyment of, the ordinary rights and benefits associated with citizenship or residency, such as voting or driving; impaired economic opportunity, primarily through reduction of the range of available employment; and increased severity of sanctions in any subsequent criminal proceeding brought against the offender. Setting aside issues of constitutional or statutory rights, the growing web of civil disabilities triggered by a criminal conviction raises fundamental questions about what makes sense as a matter of public policy. This article examines policy considerations of collateral consequences and provides a representative list of provisions of Alaska state law that may diminish in some respect the opportunities available to an individual with a criminal conviction in his or her background. Includes a bibliography of further reading on collateral consequence.

"Therapeutic Courts and Recidivism"

This article provides a brief description of results of an Alaska Judicial Council evaluation of the Alaska Court System's three felony-level therapeutic courts. TThe evaluation, which followed 117 offenders who participated in one of the three programs, revealed that graduates of the programs have been rearrested and re-convicted far less frequently than comparison offenders who did not participate in the programs. Moreover, the longer the participants remained in the programs, the less likely they were to recidivate, even if they did not graduate. A brief bibliography of resources on recidivism in Alaska is included.

"Further Reading on Recidivism in Alaska"

A brief bibliography of studies and articles on recidivism in Alaska, especially as it relates to therapeutic courts.

"Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Fairbanks North Star Borough"
by André B. Rosay and G. Matthew Snodgrass

Disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system occurs when the rate of referral for minority youth exceeds the rate of referral for white youth. Disparities with regard to race or ethnicity that begin at arrest and referral are likely to continue through the entire juvenile justice process. This article summarizes key results of a study of youth referred to the Fairbanks office of the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice during fiscal years 2005 and 2006 (i.e., from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2006). A brief bibliography of related materials on disproportionate minority contact in Alaska is provided.

"Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Fairbanks North Star Borough: Supplementary Maps"
by André B. Rosay and G. Matthew Snodgrass

The three maps included here, which appear online but not in the issue as published, illustrate the study's findings on disproportionate contact by Native males, Native females, and black males within specific census tracts of Fairbanks North Star Borough.

"Mat-Su Community Survey" by Shel Llee Evans

On behalf of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Justice Center conducted a community survey designed to evaluate Borough residents’ attitudes toward their community and Borough government. Items in the survey questionnaire asked respondents to evaluate the quality of Borough services, to provide opinions about Borough decision-making, and to consider their experience of community within their neighborhoods. This report presents results of the survey, to which a total of 1,388 respondents of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough responded.

"New Appointment to Justice Center"

Marny Rivera has joined the Justice Center as an assistant professor.